Santee Solutions

My Approach to Politics

As a longtime business executive, I believe I bring a different perspective to City Council Meetings. The ability to cherish the old and embrace the new is definitely a skill needed in my new role as Councilwoman.

With a few months on the job (thank you!), I have learned there are many competing priorities in our city. I see my role as a listener, fact finder and problem solver. With that approach comes the need to prioritize constituent concerns (nice to have versus need to have) and be pragmatic when it comes to financing. Empathy is also very important in a public service role and finally, action! I understand there are many reasons why some processes in government are slow, but my career has been driven by results, so I will keep pushing forward.

Fix the 52! and SANDAG

As a founding member and contributor to the Highway 52 Coalition, I am continuing my efforts as part of this bi-partisan, multi-interest, economic and community minded group working on new ideas and solutions to an old problem – congestion on the 52 freeway.

If you haven’t joined already, sign up for the coalition at fixthe52.com.

TransNet and SANDAG

As part of the Coalition and a new member of the East County Economic Development Council, I have done a lot of research on TransNet and SANDAG and how these entities impact transportation decisions in East County.

SANDAG’s new executive director wants to divert TransNet funds (these are funds collected from taxes we voted on and approved to improve our congested and dangerous roads and highways) to high-speed rail and other transit programs, at the expense of promised road improvements.

Taxation Without Representation

After decades of taxation without representation for East County, 66% of these funds have been spent on mass transit projects. Only 6% has gone to improve roads and highways. As Supervisor Jacobs coined, this is literally “Highway Robbery”.

Not Fit for East County

I appreciate new ideas and innovative thinking, but the proposed mass transit solutions we’ve seen so far do not fit East County needs. Our construction workers can’t take their tools on the trolley. Our solar installers cannot transport solar panels by bus.

I have been very vocal in my strong belief that SANDAG needs to be part of the solution that funds efficient movement of the workforce, goods and services along the 52 corridor. I will continue to SPEAK UP for East County.

Technology

I am a big believer in creating efficiencies through technology and am advocating for us (the City) to make vast improvements in this area.  

My Santee App

Did you know the City has recently made major improvements to the My Santee App? You can report problems with barking dogs, code violations, graffiti, potholes, street lights, storm drain pollution, tree maintenance and traffic lights to the City directly through the App. I notice these issues are sometimes vented on Facebook, but for real solutions, the problems need to be reported. Download the new and improved My Santee App today!

Streamlining the Permitting Process

Another initiative of mine is to improve customer service by streamlining the permitting process through an online suite of tools. Imagine the ability to have your planning department requirements scheduled online on YOUR time. I understand that time is money, so the ability to schedule, track and accurately calculate fees for your inspection and permitting needs in a central online location is a win-win for everyone.

Green Initiatives

I believe our approach for tackling climate change should be based in reality and focused on innovation, conservation, and adaptation. This will take a partnership between business, thought leaders and the community.

Americans are leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions thanks to strong energy sector competition and our ingenuity.

I will champion realistic, innovative, and free-market strategies to promote a cleaner environment and to reduce emissions.

250 Trees Planted in Santee

In my first month on the job I helped facilitate a grant through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California Urban Forest Council and West Coast Arborist for 250 trees to be planted around Santee. Not only is this a cost-savings of thousands of dollars in trees and maintenance, the trees will help us meet the goals of the Sustainable Santee climate action plan.

EV Charging Stations

Another focus for me is to help Santee reach our clean energy goals with the installation of more EV charging stations. I am in discussions with representatives of SDG&E discussing grant funding options

ADUs and Santee

Local cities and the county of San Diego are changing the game in the building industry by paving an easier path for ADUs (Additional Dwelling Units). Some jurisdictions are providing pre-approved blueprints, low income housing incentives, and vast reductions in fees and red tape to get these “granny flats” built, all in an effort to chip away at the housing crisis in San Diego. It’s an interesting approach to fix a decades-old problem.

Housing Solution on Our Own Terms

How does Santee become part of the housing solution on our own terms? If ADUs are coming to Santee, how can we help streamline the process for our citizens? Do we incentivize ADUs that are equipped for the remote/telecommuter and/or local workforce (I am ALWAYS thinking of ways to keep traffic off the 52!). A high-tech enabled ADU might be just right for Santee’s future growth demands.

A Voice for Santee Seniors

I have spent a lot of time listening to our seniors about their concerns and will continue to advocate on their behalf. Like all citizens, they want to feel safe in the community.

I have been actively involved in the process to bring community services to Santee for many years and believe I can help find innovative solutions to fix the gaps in community services we have today, regardless of lack of funding.

Get In Touch

Laura Koval for Santee City Council District 3
9625 Mission Gorge Road STE B2 Box 102
Santee, CA  92071